freebsd-questions Digest, Vol 692, Issue 3

Dave B g8kbvdave at
Wed Sep 6 10:47:14 UTC 2017

On 05/09/17 22:06, freebsd-questions-request at wrote:
> Polytropon(freefreebsd at 20:26:42 +0200:
>> On Tue, 5 Sep 2017 14:17:07 +0100, John Chapman wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> I have a well used laptop that had Windows Vista on when I bought it.
>>> As you know Windows no longer supports Vista and I don't see the
>>> point in upgrading at great expense.
>> That's fully correct. There is no value in dealing with "Vista"
>> anymore.
>>> Is it possible to just uninstall Windows and download FreeBSD.
>> It is not needed to uninstall "Windows". Basically, it's even
>> technically impossible to _un_install "Windows" because it does
>> not have a means to do so. ;-)
> We use defenstration to uninstall Windows
> -karl

Hi All

I'd add,  Backup your personal info (documents, files, photo's music
etc, onto an external drive.  You never know what you might need once
it's gone!)

Perform some system maintenance.  Clean all the dust out of the insides
of the PC/Laptop (need to take screws out and dismantle etc, take care,
observe ESD precautions etc.)

BSD (and 'Nix) by default seem to consume more power on given hardware
than Windows does, especially when the CPU is little used.  (I've
measured it, some 'nix's can be well over 30% more "juicy" than an
original Windows install!)  'Nix can be tweaked, not sure about' BSD. 
But best to give the thing the ability to remove any extra waste heat
that will be created.

Add as much RAM as the hardware will support, if not already max'd out. 
RAM is cheap, and makes a world of difference to any modern(ish) OS,
especially if you plan to use Xwindows or similar.

Check the hard drive for health.  I have my own copy of GRC's spinrite*,
that is just the best. (No affiliation, just a happy owner.) Watch the
SMART data, in case the drive is starting to show it's age.  (* It's OS
agnostic, you can run it on a new 'blank' drive to qualify them fit for
use, or recover failing PVR and iPod disks, etc etc.)

DBAN it (Darik's Boot n Nuke, )
to remove all vestiges of any OS and hidden data.  I've had some minor
but frustrating issues re-purposing old Windows machines, as "deleting
the partition" does not actually delete much, plus it seems some part of
the F'BSD install can trip over stuff left on disk.  Rare, but utterly
frustrating..   (Actually more of a problem I've found, doing a F'BSD
update by overwriting an existing install, even after "deleting"
existing partitions/slices or whatever, than re-purposing a PC that had
another OS on it.)

It's slower, but I find that the boot only CD and a Network install is
the best for older hardware, that can boot a CD, but may not handle a
DVD.   Gets you the latest ports etc updates too.

That'll get you the plain vanilla command line F'BSD, I'm sure others
here will guide you through the install of X etc, if you need that.

Have Fun.

Dave B.

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